Orlando City may be officially out of the playoffs, but the soccer news never stops, which is why we're here with your Wednesday edition of Lion Links right on schedule. We've got the added excitement of a hurricane possibly paying us a visit this week, so that means things are far from boring (even if we'd want them to be from that standpoint). Get prepped just in case, Central Floridians, and stay safe as Matthew continues to head towards the Sunshine State.
Oh, and we want to wish Orlando City defender Mikey Ambrose a happy 23rd birthday today. Now, on to the Links.
Future Remains Bright for Orlando City
We may be feeling the blues currently after our Lions have failed to qualify for the MLS postseason for the second consecutive season, but the official site of MLS has a letter of encouragement to cheer up the Lions faithful. Despite another disappointing finish to a campaign, Orlando remains a young team stacked with potential and a great fan base, and Head Coach Jason Kreis emphasized just how tough expansion life in MLS can be.
"The challenge of building an expansion project within MLS is extremely difficult," Kreis recently told ESPN FC's Graham Parker. "I don't think anyone gives it its just due - I really don't. It's more difficult than anybody has been able to put into words."
Hopefully this letter rings true and success is just around the corner for Orlando City.
Lions Partner Up for Stadium Sponsor Displays
Orlando City announced Tuesday that is has partnered with Dimensional Innovations to design and build branded sponsor areas at the club's new stadium, which is set to open for the 2017 season. Dimensional Innovations is working on three specific areas of the new stadium: The Walt Disney World Gate, the Audi premium club space, and the MetroPCS Corner. Here's a bit on Dimensional Innovations and their goals with this project:
Dimensional Innovations is managing a comprehensive sponsorship experience that aligns the Orlando City SC brand with those of its sponsors and the architecture, which is being created by Populous, an architecture firm that specializes in sports facilities, arenas and convention centers.
The story, from the club's official site, includes statements from both OCSC and DI.
Orlando City's Power on the Decline
To the surprise of no one, MLS power rankings have the Lions trending down. The MLS rankings have Orlando down from No. 18 to No. 19 following another loss on Sunday. Our man Jeff Milby is much more fair and objective in his rankings, and has the Lions in 18th, down from 17th last week. Man, a swap with Houston, which has been near the bottom of the power index all season, is disheartening.
Bruce Arena Hates Flying Coach
Don't we all? The LA Galaxy manager has been in MLS for a long, long time, but apparently he's grown tired of the league's flight arrangements. Unlike many other professional sports in the U.S., MLS doesn't charter flights for away games, so teams have to fly commercial for most of their 17 away games each year (there are very limited charter exceptions). Arena, now fed up with this practice, is so embarrassed that he told his players not to wear Galaxy gear to the airport. It's certainly not the most optimal way to travel for half of your games each year, especially when you fly as far as LA does for many of its road matches.
Klinsmann Hopes Jozy Can Stay Healthy
Jozy Altidore is in insane form, having scored nine goals since his return from injury, including four in his last five games. Jürgen Klinsmann coaches the U.S. Men's National Team, for which Altidore is a key contributor. Klinsmann wants Altidore to stay healthy. This makes a lot of sense.
That'll do it for Wednesday's links. Stay safe, folks, and have a good day.